Journaling: An Inner Dialogue to Heal!



There are many ways in which you can interact with your inner self!, in the ones what you can take the best of you, in which you can nurture and care for that inner child within you, in a way that you allow yourself to be responsible for your own way, knowledge and care for you like no else can! That can kind of inner dialogue, that kind of inner contact, inner love is the one that will allow you to contact the deepest layers within you!


However nowadays you prefer to interact with everything and everyone and is obvious that you don't find the time! Because subconsciously you don't want that time, because it scares you, because you know more than anyone there's a mess to clean, because sometimes you don't know how, because you prefer to throw the dust under the rug!


But that dust, that apathy and that fear is only building up like a snowball and creating a very powerful negative spiral which sooner rather than later will blow up either inside of you or externally with someone else!


There can be a million excuses, blame and procrastination to heal!, but when you really decide that making time for you, should be your number one priority to serve your purpose more gracefully with others, then you're in the path to the most beautiful journey you can imagine. You're choosing a path of detoxification, cleaning, recovery and healing that only has surprises, rewards but guess what ...they're not immediate, they're not as easy as playing the role of victim, there are no shortcuts and it is a bumpy road!


Nevertheless, as I'm sure you've heard in your life many times, the things that are really worth it in your life are the things that require commitment, discipline, passion, patience and love to fight for! Well your inner health is one of them, and this is the one we should all be trained for since we're children! Finding our own space, finding our own peace, finding our own dialogue and learning how to contact with the most powerful force and voice that is in each and everyone of us!


What is one of the simplest and easiest way to have a dialogue with your inner self?


In this case, we'll focus on how journaling is one of the most powerful tools to allow yourself to contact your inner voice, to have an open dialogue with your thoughts, to start discovering what is it that bothers you, to engage with you in a journey of healing and have a deeper contact with your emotions and wounds that many times have scream you for help, but you have decided to be many times deaf, so they have to find an outlet and many times it won't be the most healthy one!


Therefore, you'd better start listening and paying more attention before is too late!


And to do it, we'll discuss how does keeping a diary, how does writing about your emotions, how does releasing the confusion in the paper is one of the most ancient and rewarding strategies to heal, recover and repair your inner health!


Writing about personally experienced stressors or traumatic events has been associated with improvements in mental and physical health in numerous investigations. For example, writing about stressful or traumatic events has been related to decreased distress and depression, fewer illness-related visits to physicians, and positive changes in immune function. A recent meta-analysis of the effects of written dis- closure found that writing about stressful or traumatic events is related to improvements in self-reported health, psychological well-being, physiological functioning, and general functioning. Moreover, the positive effects of written disclosure appear to be equivalent to or greater than effects produced by other psychosocial interventions (1).


It has long been believed that the expression of emotion is beneficial to mental health, whereas the inhibition of emotion is harmful. According to this hypothesis, the inhibition of emotion is considered a chronic stressor that can lead to declines in emotional and physical health (1).


Disclosure is thought to work because it allows for the expression of emotions and the subsequent release of pathognomonic tension. In addition, it has been proposed that expressing trauma-related emotions in a safe environment enhances feelings of control and mastery over the traumatic event. Alternatively, expressing trauma-related emotions may initiate a process of desensitization in which individuals form nonthreatening associations between trauma-related stimuli and emotions (1).


As stated above journaling, writing about your experiences, as painful as they might be is one of the healthiest way to have a private, free of judgement dialogue with your own awareness. Additionally it helps you see the things as a third party, helps you become to know yourself more in a deeper way, to witness the facts as they really are and not as you want them to be, or worst to invent a fake scenery, to create a theatrical drama were the victim is most of the time played by you!


There's simply no point of mounting a circus around any kind of experience you've had, because there's no audience to convince, or to entertain, or need to be the protagonist, that also helps you to be more objective with the things you're writing, that also helps you to become more the owner of your feelings and not the victim that needs to be rescued.


Moreover writing and journaling about your painful events, when you were really a victim of some abuse, trauma or denigration will give you two amazing tools that will help you assess and extract the meaning and the purpose of the experience, even when you don't think that there was one, even when you think that everything that happened to you was the worst.


One of the tools is the Meaning or the Lesson, when you're writing and narrating the experience, you allow your mind to place the scenery and facts in the correct order, even when the first draft of your story might seem one way, once you read it for you, once you allow yourself to be the listener and the witness, you will realize that things didn't happen as your first draft and you'll write them again, you will edit them, you will rephrase and during those exercises is when things will start to gain clarity and perspective which is the path to obtain peace for you, to find forgiveness and compassion for the "other" people even when it seemed hard or maybe even impossible to find peace and forgiveness, it will come to you!


The second very powerful tool is Compassion, that tool is the one that will start to get you nearer to closure and to be able to finally heal and truly let go the emotional load of the experience and almost magically this process (that of course is summarized here) is the one that will make you feel lighter, healed and ready to live your life more blissfully!


Many times during painful experiences, during hardship we have all experienced a mental congestion, a sense of despair, a deep darkness where we don't seem to find the way out, and we're constantly repeating over and over again the experience, reliving the pain and recycling the emotional charge and load of emotions which is the "small" detail that is triggering and producing a constant cascade of toxic chemicals that are making your life more difficult to live!


During this process of grief is when things look messier and is when we're the only responsible of making the pain to convert onto suffering, that's why when you allow yourself to make peace within you and to start seeing the things as a witness and not as the "affected", during the journaling process, is when you will gain meaning, compassion that will convert the negative experiences into lessons from where you will be able to extract your most powerful asset that will stay with you ...Resilience!


Why is journaling a therapeutic tool that will allow yourself to be at peace?


Journal writing is one of a group of therapies that provides an opportunity for persons to reflect on and analyze their lives and the events and people surrounding them, and to get in touch with their feelings. Memoirs, life review, and storytelling are other interventions that use a similar scientific basis. All of these therapies require individuals to be engaged in reflecting on and gaining insights about their lives and experiences (2).


From the beginning of history, people have recorded the events of their lives, first in pictures and then in words. Reeve Lindbergh (2008) states:


"To write as honestly as I can in my journals about my everyday life and the thoughts and feelings I have as I go along is an old tenacious yearn- ing, maybe due [to] an early discomfort with the oddly intangible [enormities] of my family history. Or perhaps this effort is just something else my mother left to me; her belief that writing is the way to make life as perceptible as life can be perceived" (2).


Journaling is a holistic therapy because it involves all aspects of a person — physical (muscular movements), mental (thought processes), emotional (getting in touch with or expressing feelings), and spiritual (finding meaning). Through journal recordings, people are able to connect with the continuity of their lives and thus enhance wholeness. Writing may also aid individuals in identifying unconscious ideas and emotions that may be influencing their behaviors and lives. Awareness of these is furthered as subjects reflect on specific events, thoughts, or feelings while recording them; link them with past feelings and meanings; and consider present and future implications (2).


We are all different in the way we try or we express our emotions, and for all the variety of styles there are options, such as meditation, formal therapy, journaling, praying, reiki, etc.. the core of all of these alternative ways to heal is pretty much the same: allowing your energy to be synchronized, finding coherence within you and aligning your heart with your brain and your brain (thoughts) with your actions (body).


Constructing that powerful triad is what in the end allows the inner coherence, allows the alignment and of course will take you to the healing door! Which only can be accessed through the journey of finding your own truth, of facing the facts, of searching your meaning and discovering the clarity and the light within yourself.


In the end all forms of therapy are focused to achieve that mental peace and emotional relief that we all want!


As stated above journaling, which is the one therapeutic tool we are discussing, is a very complete form of healing due to the combination of many sources, mental, physical, spiritual combining them all into one powerful strategy to have contact with your inner thoughts, with your experiences, with your past, with your present and of course with the expectation of recover and feeling well again!


Your sympathetic (controls fight or flight response, reactions) and parasympathetic nervous system (controls all your metabolic functions) will be engaged as you're including many of your senses and awareness, remembering and recounting of facts and emotions.


Therefore during the times you write, you're restructuring the internal patterns of emotions, shifting them, finding your own truth, your awareness and as such sometimes might be more painful than others, but I can assure you that in each and every session that you engage with your voice, with your thoughts you will find more peace that will be building up until you arrive to your complete masterpiece that will be your inner and recovered health!


In summary, journaling is another therapeutic alternative way that encompasses many healing factors that will allow you to process your emotions, to find your truth about the past experiences you've had, to engage in a presence and present journey, that will unfold infinite possibilities to witness a clearer and more promising future.


Moreover along the way, you'll encounter compassion, meaning, forgiveness for yourself and a huge amount of love that will start to create a powerful state of resilience, awareness and a lot more consciousness in pretty much all the actions and experiences of your life, as it as a dialogue with your most inner wisdom and a connection with your divine self! I wish you can enjoy the ride of writing and journaling as a therapeutic tool!


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References.


1. Ullrich, P. M., & Lutgendorf, S. K. (2002). Journaling about stressful events: Effects of cognitive processing and emotional expression. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24(3), 244-250.


2. SNyDER, M. A. R. I. A. H. (2014). Journaling. Complementary and alternative therapies in nursing, 205-214.


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